The Paris Court of Appeal confirmed the suspension of the repurchase by Veolia of the shares held by Engie in Suez.

The court had already suspended this buyout operation on October 9, while Suee's CSE had not been "informed and consulted".

The Paris Court of Appeal on Thursday confirmed in all respects the summary order which had suspended the acquisition operation by Veolia of the shares (29.9%) held by Engie in Suez, according to the judgment consulted by the 'AFP.

Consultation deadlines "set at three months"

The court suspended on October 9 at first instance the operation to buy the 29.9% block by Veolia as long as the social and economic committees (CSE) of Suez and Suez Eau France, at the origin of the procedure, n 'had not been "informed and consulted" on decisions already taken.

The consultation deadlines are "set at three months from the communication by the employer of the information provided for by the labor code for consultation", specifies the judgment.

The court dismissed Veolia and Engie from the request relating to the lifting of the provisional measures.

"This is the fair return of the place that a CSE must have. Veolia must respect the Labor Code even if the current project is carried by a competing company", commented to AFP Valérie Dolivet, lawyer of Suez economic and social committees.

"We are very happy to be confirmed in our rights. We will be able to inform our colleagues in the perimeters that are likely to be impacted by the project and give a reasoned and informed opinion", welcomed Franck Reinhold, secretary of the committee. European Suez Group. 

Veolia does not let go of the takeover

Veolia said "take note" of the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal, in a press release.

According to the group, the three-month consultation period will have expired on February 5, 2021. This date is nevertheless "an unfounded interpretation" of the deadline set by the court, said Me Dolivet. 

The CEO of Veolia, Antoine Frérot, reiterated his firm intention to carry out his takeover project on its competitor Suez.

The management and the unions of Suez reject this project, crying out for social destruction, the loss of skills and the end of competition.

The state, which opposed Engie's cession, called on the two entities to dialogue.